On October 27, Rustem Kazazi was planning on boarding a plane to his original home country, Albania. His plan was to take his life savings there in order to buy a vacation home that his family could enjoy during his retirement, and also to help out some relatives that needed monetary assistance. Kazazi carefully counted out his cash and labeled it in his bag. However, as Kazazi attempted to complete the security requirements at the airport, the money was seized and Kazazi was interrogated in a private room, according to CNN.
Now, Kazazi is suing U.S. Customs to get his money back. The lawsuit claims that Kazazi did nothing wrong. On the other hand, U.S. Customs is claiming that the money was seized due to it being tied to "a smuggling/drug trafficking/money laundering operation." However, no evidence has been given to substantiate those claims. Kazazi and his family say that the money that he had was earned legally. The Institute for Justice emphasized this fact.
"None of this is true -- the Kazazis saved up their money from jobs they held lawfully in America, and they have 13 years of tax documents and bank statements to prove it. Moreover, the government has never pointed to any evidence of wrongdoing.
According to the Washington Post, an estimated $2 billion was seized in 2017. The number is the same as the amount of money stolen during home burglaries.